Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually awakening people. We’ve done nearly 650 of them now, if this if you haven’t seen any of these before, and you want to check out previous ones, go to batgap.com, B A T G A P and look under the past interviews menu, where you’ll see them all organized in various ways. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. I say listeners because it also exists as an audio podcast. So if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there are PayPal buttons on the website and there’s a page which suggests alternatives to PayPal if you prefer some alternative. My guest today is a good friend Duane Elgin and I’ve had him on the show before, I think it was five years ago or so. He is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and social visionary. He has an MBA in business and MA in economic history. His books include ‘Choosing Earth’, ‘Awakening Earth’, ‘Voluntary Simplicity’ and ‘The Living Universe’. He has worked as a senior staff member of the Presidential Commission on the American Future. And as senior social scientists coauthoring numerous studies on the long-range future for clients such as the President’s Science Advisor, the National Science Foundation, and others. Duane has also coauthored three nonprofit organizations working for media accountability, and citizen empowerment. He received the Peace Prize of Japan the Goi Award, in recognition of his contribution to a global vision, consciousness and lifestyle that fosters a more sustainable and spiritual culture. Duane is the co-director of the ‘Choosing Earth Project’. He also co-wrote a book by with Joseph Campbell. I’d like to not I’d like to read some blurbs on the back of his book, not to plug the book but to emphasize the importance of the conversation we’re going to have today. And in many respects, in some respects, I think this may be one of the most important conversations of I’ve had on this program. And as time goes on, over the decades, I think it’ll be recognized the things we’ll talk about today will be recognized as the most important things we could have been talking about at this time. So here are a few blurbs. This is from Jean Houston, who has been on BatGap ‘Choosing Earth is the most important book of our time to read and dwell within it is an awakening experience that can activate both an ecological and spiritual revolution.’ This one is from Ervin Laszlo would love to have on BatGap ‘A truly essential book for our time, from one of the greatest and deepest thinkers of our time’. This is from Joanna Macy, ‘This may be the perfect moment for so prophetic voice to be heard’. And let’s see, read more here, Lynne Twist, Lynn has been in BatGap not long ago, ‘Choosing Earth’ is timely, relevant, clear, potent, and absolutely brilliant. So as you’ll see as we get into this conversation, but let me turn it over to you, Duane, because I’ve talked enough for starters, why do you think this way you can give a peep keep people a nutshell version of what we are going to talk about? And why you think it’s as important as I obviously do?
Duane Elgin: Well, first of all, it’s a delight to be here with you, Rick, you’re one of my favorite interviewers. So it’s a real pleasure to be here. Why is this important? The world is in a time of profound transition. And we can look at this in various ways. But I’m suggesting that we go really deep and look through the trauma of our times beyond the gloom and doom to it to a time of profound transformation for the entire species. There’s never been a time like this in human history. So that’s the arc of conversation I’d like to have here today. Good, and when you say gloom and doom, it’s funny because as I was reading your book, I was on board with what you’re saying. But I was putting myself in the mindset of some people who might read it. Who might think ‘yeah, this guy’s a bummer. He’s being so pessimistic. I mean, things aren’t this bad, are they?’ And I’ve actually talked people had conversations about climate change, where they say, ‘Well, you know, it’s all been overblown. I mean, Al Gore was saying things 20 years ago that didn’t come to pass. And Greta Thunberg is just over excited young girl, she should go back to school, you know, think all this doomsday stuff is just an exaggeration. And it’s really not going to be that bad. isn’t that bad’, so on and so forth. So I’m what would you say to put those people give them a clearer perspective, perhaps. I would suggest that we take the long view. I’ve been looking at these trends as a futures researcher, for truly a half century now. And these trends grow slowly, but inexorably, and is a vise in which humanity is going to find itself. And we either rise to a new level of maturity and consciousness and communication, or we’re going to collapse and fall into a really dire circumstance. But that is not something that happens swiftly, but it’s slow. But it’s inexorable, and it’s underway, now, we see it, for example, here, I live in California, the droughts, historic, the fires, historic. We’re burning up on the west, we’re getting flooded on the east. The world is in transition profoundly. And we can speak about this. Yeah. As you may know, I was a student of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and I was on a boat ride with him on Lake Lucerne in about 1974, or five. And he was talking about their upcoming phase transition, he called it and, you know, he didn’t like to scare monger. But he said, You know, it’s gonna be kind of heavy. I mean, he didn’t use that word, either. But he, you know, and people were saying, ‘what can we do about this, you know, how can we survive this?’ And he said, well, most fundamentally, ‘hold on to the Self’, by that he meant ‘capital S’ self, you know, know thyself, and that will be your most secure foundation. And that and so I got interested in the whole idea. And I remember, early 80s, I read a book called ‘Prophecies and Predictions: Everyone’s Guide to the Coming Changes’ by a woman named Moira Timms. And what she did was she took the prophecies of ancient cultures from around the world. And she correlated them with historical events, which had actually come to pass. And then she, you know, brought it up to the present day, and then kind of took their continuing process prophecies, which hadn’t happened yet and painted a scenario, much like the one you paint in your book, kind of like your third option, which we’ll get to as we go along here, which is that, you know, it’s going to be rough. But we could rise out of this to a much better civilization. And before turning it back to you, I just want to read a quote from your book. This is from Gus Speth, former director of the Council on Environmental Quality. He said, ‘I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystems collapse, and climate change. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy. And to deal with those, we need a spiritual and cultural transformation. And we scientist don’t know how to do that’. I just want to say that that statements encapsulates what has been my fundamental motivation since I was 21 years old when I became a meditation teacher because I felt like you know, consciousness is most fundamental. And you know, you remember the new dimensions radio with Michael and Justine Toms that was great, used to be on NPR, and they’re a little tagline the beginning was ‘it is only through a change in consciousness that the world will be changed’. So that was what I dedicated my life to. And I’m still doing so although there were some diversions where I had to earn a living and stuff. But I just felt like consciousness has the greatest leverage, it’s the most fundamental thing. And if we can enliven, that we’ll have the biggest impact. And frankly, I would be very pessimistic if I didn’t recognize that level of life and recognize that there seems to be some kind of global awakening taking place simultaneous with a global collapse, which already seems to be underway.
Rick Archer: Yes. Well, we are going somewhere. People think well, this is pretty much it. We live in a nonliving universe, it’s a dead universe. What more is there? Well, we are just touching the surface of life. When we look at it in that way, and it’s with the new consciousness, a deeper consciousness that we look beneath the surface of life, to the deep aliveness that all the world’s wisdom, traditions, traditions, and teachers have spoken about. And it is that with that awakens a new sensibility and a new sense of potential for the human journey. So that’s something that that is foundational to, to my view of where we’re going as well.
Duane Elgin: Yeah, I pulled a couple more quotes for your book on this. You said, ‘if the universe is viewed as dead at its foundations, then it is natural to exploit the earth and use it up. If the universe is viewed as alive at its foundations, then it is natural to cherish here and care for it’. And Plato, you’re quoted as saying, as having said,’ the universe is a single living creature that contains all living creatures within it’. Einstein said, we are ‘souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments, and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music’. So I just want to throw those in some beautiful quotes you put in your book.
Rick Archer: Great Great. Well, let’s back up a little bit here. Okay.
Duane Elgin: Because I really want to get into exactly what you’re pointing to now, but to, to enter that, from where the dominant culture is, finds itself right now. And we’re just waking up as a, as a culture as a species. And we’re beginning to say, ‘well, what pathways lie before us?’ We see these extraordinary trends of climate change, species extinction, resource depletion, we’re running out of fresh water, 40% of the people on the planet are already water stressed, we have extraordinary inequities of wealth and wellbeing around the around the world. This cannot hold, this cannot hold. So change is underway of necessity. And but then the question is, what kind of change? What are the possibilities for the future? And after decades of research, I find they come to three possible pathways. And I don’t think any one of these is going to be dominant in the near future is going to take a while for them to play themselves out. But the three pathways are one, a pathway of functional extinction, we’re no longer a powerful player in the evolutionary process of the planet. So one is functional extinction. A second is just crushing authoritarianism. We be we’re already seeing the that come alive in the world now. And a third is the one that you Rick and I have been drawn to with our lives and that is deep transformation. So why don’t we take a look at the first video that really presents these three pathways of for the audience. Okay, good. It’ll take me just a minute to get that up on screen. When we look from a big picture perspective, we can see three dominant pathways emerging in response to the global mega crisis. The first pathway is one of crash and collapse. It’s a business-as-usual approach, where we make small changes that do not upset the status quo, and making only small gradual changes, systems unravel. And this culminates in a devastating evolutionary crash and the collapse of civilizations around the Earth. The second pathway is an authoritarian future that is empowered with artificial intelligence. Collapse is prevented but at the cost of human freedom, and creativity. A digital dictatorship controls our future. The third pathway is one of great transition, the old world is breaking down and a new world is being born. An awakening consciousness fosters a deepening of relationship with all of life, we weave together a new world with a higher level of potential and purpose. This is the visual of the crash and collapse pathway. All three pathways have the same beginning. They start with a time of great unraveling in the 2020s, followed by a great fall a freefall in the 2030s and follow then by a time of great sorrow in the 2040s. There are two sets of arrows. The blue arrows represent the direction the planet is headed. The yellow arrows represent the movement that is emerging for transformation. You’ll notice that on the crash pathway, the yellow arrows are very thin. Continuing business as usual with a focus on growth, extraction and separation means the collapse will become a devastating crash and could end in functional extinction. Now let’s look at the visual for the authoritarian pathway. Like the crash pathway, it shows a time of great unraveling, followed by a great fall, and then followed by a time of great sorrow. Again, there are only a few yellow arrows representing transformation coming in to help. Just before the crash, authoritarian controls pull back the momentum which produces a stagnant future one of constraint and conformity, it may also produce ruthless leaders making decisions for all. Like the crash and authoritarian pathways, the great transition pathway starts with a time of great unraveling, followed by a great fall, and then followed by a time of great sorrow. On the great transition pathway, there are many more uplifting arrows moving through the 20s and 30s. The yellow arrows represent our growing up as a species are awakening consciousness, and our concern and care for the wellbeing of all life. As the yellow arrows come in to the time of great sorrow, they provide the uplift for a great transition. So if we are to realize a great transition, it will require humanity to grow into our maturity, and awaken our compassion and awareness. So we can breed a movement of movements. That means you and me and all of us showing up for life on Earth. All three pathways are likely to continue to varying degrees. The question is, which one will guide us into the future? And which one will your actions support?
Rick Archer: What I what I get when I watch that as like you just said, all three pathways are happening now. I mean, you can see places like China, very authoritarian, you know, they’re doing facial recognition on everybody. If you jaywalk, you get in trouble. And then there are, you know, well, you could you elaborate. I mean, I don’t want to state the obvious, but then the, you know, you and I are perhaps shooting some yellow arrows. And, and then there’s all these people who just want to do little bitsy witsy incremental change, or no change at all, you know, every time there’s a school shooting, ‘oh, no, we can’t really change anything’. Or, you know, ‘we can’t stop mining coal or drilling for oil’. And, and, you know, and they spend millions of dollars on disinformation to try to convince people that, you know, there are two sides to this issue, and the science isn’t settled.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. This is a time of just profound confusion, turbulence, breakdown, unraveling. And it’s, it has been predictable. I’ve been writing about the unraveling, coming in this decade, Oh, for 40 years or more. So it’s something that we could anticipate emerging, given the driving trends I mentioned at the outset. So here we are as a species. And it’s a time of profound in my estimation, initiation. And we are being asked by the forces that we have unleashed ourselves, we’re doing this to ourselves. We’re being asked to go from our adolescence and into our early adulthood. And I’ve gone around the earth for the last 40 some years, and giving talks and often while, I will start a talk by asking the audience are in different parts of the world. If you look at the human family, what life stage are we in? Are we in a toddler stage, an adolescent stage, an adult, or an elder stage? And I ask people not only to raise their hands often, but to stand up for their point of view. Take a stand for how you see humanity. And I’ll ask well, how many feel the word a toddler says about 5% or So stand up?
Rick Archer: Terrible twos I’ve had a guy said?
Duane Elgin: Yes. I asked, Well, how about the adolescent stage how many people feel that we’re in our adolescents as a species, and overwhelmingly two thirds or three quarters of every audience I’ve asked around the world immediately stands up. And they said, Yes, we’re behaving like teenagers like adolescents. And, and then I say, Well, look, this is good news. What? Yes, this is good news, because the next step beyond our adolescence is early adulthood. But to get into early adulthood, we go through a time of initiation. And virtually everyone can speak to their own adolescence and say, Wow, this was hard. This is difficult for me to move through these years in front and move into my early adulthood. So this is a time of profound initiation that we’re going through right now. And I’d like to ask you to Rick to play then the next video about our time of initiation.
Rick Archer: Okay, I will and let me just say, before I do that, that
Duane Elgin: sure
Rick Archer: you know, not all teenagers make it through adolescence, some die of drug overdoses or suicide, or they end up in jail, or they end up damaging themselves severely in ways that handicap them for life. So it’s not a done deal.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. Very important. That’s right. There’s no guarantees, we’re gonna make it through this time of transition.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Okay, so I’m playing, getting ready for the next video here.
Joanna Macy: Great turning, which is flat, it’s a transition we’re in, we’re in it now. It’s a transition or learning so much. In science and in grassroots community building. It’s not something we do instead of the collapse. It’s something that can guide us through it. My preposition these days, is through. ‘Honey, we’re gonna have to go through this’.
Victoria Santos: The opportunity of this time is for us to evaluate and reassess our priorities. As a species, we need to look at what our relationships are to each other, to our families, to our community, and really assess our values.
Nate Hagens: We’ve arrived at a species level conversation, our species, and we need to own this, to find a path forward.
Duane Elgin: We have entered an extraordinarily rare moment in humanity’s collective journey, the path for generations to come, will depend on people alive today. We cannot predict where humanity will go from here for one simple reason. Our future depends on our individual and collective consciousness, and the choices that emerge from that consciousness. There’s the theme that you brought up earlier, Rick, our consciousness, how we see and appreciate the world, as well as in a reflective way ourselves, and are we awakening to our higher potentials and possibilities or not? And our future in many ways depends upon waking up. And seeing that we are not only biological beings, but we’re a part of a living universe. We’re bio cosmic beings. And we’ll talk about that as an uplift in a bit. But right now, what I would say two key factors for our evolution are first of all, are we growing up? Just maturing as a species? We just talked about that. Can we move into our early adult adulthood, move beyond the reckless years of our adolescence? We’re recklessly just destroying the ecology of life on the planet. Can we move beyond the kind of superficial view of life beneath the kind of materialism and consumerism of our current culture, move beyond role models that are, let’s say, sports stars, music, idols, movie stars, and so on? Can we move to a deeper level of recognition of the nature of life and a journey that we’re on? So one challenge is simply growing up as a species. Another is what you’ve mentioned at the outset and that is waking up. Can we wake up to not only our thing In brain, but to the reflective consciousness that we all embody? And that you mentioned Einstein, that as a, our bodies are carriers of this larger awareness larger and knowing that connects us with the ecology of life. So the challenge now is to wake up to who we are, and then to grow into that as a as a species as a species, not simply individuals, but collectively mature and grow into that, what an extraordinary time we’re living in right now, what an amazing invitation of transformation and transition is being offered to us.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And one good point about the growing up as a species is that we are all connected. And, you know, you may remember that the TM movement was doing experiments where they tried to get large groups of people to meditate together. And there are various theories about how if 1% of the population were to do this, or if it’s even the square root of 1% of the population, where it would kind of change collective consciousness. So not everybody would have to do such things, which is unrealistic to expect. And there were some studies which seem to show statistical significance, that, in fact, when we got, you know, seven or 8000, people together, meditating, there will be a drop in crime and an improvement in economic factors, and so on. So, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. And I kind of feel like, even though the numbers of people on the earth, engaging in spiritual pursuits are small, they are growing, but they’re small, relatively, they perhaps have an influence that, you know, much greater than their numbers. And maybe one reason for explaining that is that if you can work at a far more fundamental level, you have more leverage, you know, the molecular level is more powerful than the material under the gross material on the atomic level is more powerful than the molecular. So, you know, at the level of consciousness itself, the most fundamental level, doing something there could have a much bigger impact than just trying to do stuff on the surface. And that, to me, has always been a sort of a source of possible optimism.
Duane Elgin: Yes. So in physics, in systems theory, there, there are insights that have great relevance right now directly relevant to what you were just speaking about. And it is one a system becomes turbulent, when it loses the coherence of the past has yet to find his pathway into the future. And the in between time, when things are unraveling when things are breaking down. That’s a very high potential time for transformation and small inputs into a system that’s in great turbulence, small inputs, the coherence of those small inputs, the resonance of those small inputs can permeate throughout the system, and help reconfigure it very rapidly, very quickly. When, in prior years, when it was a system that was really solidified in its, let’s say, materialism, consumerism and so on, it couldn’t have that impact. But as we break down, it’s a time of freeing up and finding new pathways ahead.
Rick Archer: Yeah, maybe you can give some examples. One, a simple analogy that comes to mind is like, you know, Jell-O, and you’ve made Jell-O, and it’s all warm and liquidy. And all, you can pour it into any shaped mold, and it will take that shape. But you know, if it’s already molded, then you then you can’t if it’s rigid. So, you know, perhaps turbulence is a malleable condition, and in which things can move in directions, they wouldn’t be able to if everything was kind of stagnant or settled, I think, that’s a good way of suggesting it.
Duane Elgin: Yes. You know, I had I seldom speak about this, but I’m getting old enough now that I venture out. But in the early 1970s, I had an opportunity at the Stanford Research Institute for a three-year period to be a subject in their parapsychology experiments, and there were two kinds of experiments there was receiving remote viewing and then sending psychokinesis and I learned a tremendous amount about the ecology of consciousness in the laboratory. I think very much in keeping with the kinds of things you we were just saying earlier. And what I found was that if we come to life with a feeling of separation ‘ I’m here and the world is out there and whatever’s going to happen, I have to mobilize energy here and push it out there’. That doesn’t work. In physics, for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. And so we start pushing on the world, the world is going to push back and instead of connection, we got existential separation. However, if we start with the understanding that’s now widespread in quantum physics. The universe is a unified whole. That’s just the way it is, is a unified system. And it’s not only unified isn’t a rising an emergent system. It’s a regenerative universe. So as the physicist David Bohm says the universe is a unified whole and flowing movement. Now, how can we relate to it then? Well, instead of pushing on it, we can go and dance with it. So domination doesn’t work, but dancing does. And so given the understanding of the universe, coming now out of physics, and out of laboratory experiments, like I participated in for three years, we can begin to shift our understanding and our intention and our consciousness from one of domination which is widespread in a materialistic universe, to dancing, which is awakening now, in the context of a living universe. So I’m wondering, could we play that next video regarding a living universe? Have you ever had the experience of seeing a delicate aliveness in the world? Have you ever looked at a flower or the space around you and seen a subtle glow, a luminosity and felt a deep kinship with all of existence? Have you ever experienced the feeling of oneness with the world around you, a feeling of communion with a whole universe? Many people assume that we live in a universe comprised of dead matter and empty space. And this is truly a dark night of the soul if that is the kind of world we inhabit. Fortunately, ancient wisdom and modern science are coming together and we’re reviewing the universe in a new way. Instead of dead at the foundation, it is increasingly viewed as a living system in its totality. And certainly at the foundation of all humanity and all of our lives and our life experience is the direct experience of being alive. And it is this experience of profound aliveness that we share with all creatures, and all humans. Sometimes I will say to nature ‘surprised me’, and within a few moments, I will see the flight of a bee the architecture of a flower. There is an astonishing degree of beauty and design in nature’s creations. So this is an extraordinary shift from saying the universe has dead at the foundations. And we’re separate beings in this flatland of a material universe to recognizing well, only 5% of the known universe is the material universe that includes our bodies and the stars and planets around us. 95% of the known universe is now recognized as invisible we can’t see it, but it is there. And we can now begin to open with our with our awakening to aliveness that we all carry within ourselves to the 95% of the universe, that that goes beyond us. I had the great privilege of coauthoring a book with Joseph Campbell, as you mentioned, Rick, and in an interview one time, Campbell was asked, ‘well, aren’t people seeking meaning in their lives? Isn’t that what people want is meaning?’ And surprisingly, he said, ‘no’. He said ‘what people are looking for, is the direct experience. of being alive. People want to know; they want to feel it in their bones in their bodies. This is life and I feel it’. And, and what gives us that experience? Well, being in nature, for example, brings that experience, connecting with other living beings, whether as, as animals, or we (with) our pets, flowers, nature around us, it brings out relationships where there’s a loving relationship, and we feel it in our hearts, making music, that is a direct experience of expressing, it can be, our aliveness. So there are many ways of encountering the direct experience of being alive and importantly, they don’t cost much, they’re mostly free. And if we need to move from a materialistic universe (that) is over consuming the earth, to a universe that is alive, and invites us to grow into that sense of aliveness, that’s not going to cost a whole lot. And that’s really important, in enabling us to make this transition to, to our greater maturity.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, my daily routine involves walking in the woods for two hours while listening to things preparing for BatGap and coming home and just doing things at my computer. And it’s very simple. I don’t need a lot of entertainment. And all because I think part of it is, it’s not only that what I do is interesting to me, but there’s a kind of a baseline of fulfillment that
Duane Elgin: yes,
Rick Archer: abides regardless of what I do or don’t do.
Duane Elgin: Yes. So
Rick Archer: I read says, Oh, I’m addicted to my computer. That’s useful.
Duane Elgin: This is something that we all share. People recognize Well, well, of course, I’m alive. Well, here I am here. But are we in touch with how precious that aliveness is and the extent of which, in a quantum universe that’s unified with itself, when we get in touch with our inner aliveness, and, and we touch into the aliveness of the universe, a light goes on. And that’s the light of the light of awakening, we wake up and say, Whoa, I’m a part of a larger living system. How do I grow into that larger aliveness? And so what’s happening now as we make this transition from a dead to a living universe is first of all, is changing how we regard the life around us. Secondly, it’s changing how we regard ourselves. We’re not only biological beings, we are also a part of the cosmos and this aliveness. So we are inherently bio cosmic beings as who we already are. We don’t have to manufacture that. That’s the nature of reality. We are bio cosmic beings. Well, then what are we doing here? What kind of journey are we on? Is it to consume more stuff, trying to make ourselves happy? No, the roots way beyond that, what we’re learning what with the invitation from the universe is, we’re learning how to live in a living universe. Now that is an Infinite Journey. That’s an extraordinary journey, learning to live in a living universe. And that’s what were we being called to do as we wake up and grow up in this new world?
Rick Archer: Yeah. When you say the universe is alive, as you were saying earlier, you know, I think of Okay, let’s take an example of something that appears not to be alive like a rock. But if you actually look at the rock microscopically enough, you know, you see this marvelous, marvelous crystalline structure, perhaps, and then you see things going on at the chemical level at the molecular level, that couldn’t be random, or, you know, accidental, no way. And that evidence, a level of intelligence that’s functioning in nature, that of which a field of intelligence of which laws of nature arises impulses, which govern the functioning of everything, which orchestrate the functioning of everything. So to me, every in that sense, everything seems alive, the sidewalk, you know, a tree, and everything that you can, if you think about it, there’s stuff going on, in things that we take for granted. That boggles the mind, if you actually could fully perceive or appreciate what was happening.
Duane Elgin: Indeed, I like to say that and this comes out of physics as well. That aliveness is both foundational and emergent.
Rick Archer: Yes. I…
Duane Elgin: So at the foundation of existence this universe emerged from a pinpoint about 14 billion years ago. A pinpoint smaller than an atom, it burst into existence. And it now has over 2 trillion galaxies, two trillion galaxies each galaxy containing 100-billion or more star systems. So here it is an extraordinary system has emerged. At the foundation, some life force was there to give it the burst of energy that allowed it to flare forth into existence. And now it continues to grow. And not only is it growing materially, it’s growing the fabric of space time that holds it, this is a miracle, how it’s developing. So aliveness is both foundational and emergent. So people like you, Rick, and me, we are emergent beings that draw from the larger liveness of the Living Universe. So that when I say we’re learning to live in a living universe, that’s an extraordinary journey. Now, here’s one way of appreciating the depth of this is that science now understands, even though there are 2 trillion galaxies out there, there’s an extraordinary distance between here we are right now, to the magnitude of the universe as a whole. But the physicists now say there is more smallness within us, than there is bigness beyond us. The universe is that we think, ‘well, if I just go down to, you know, the level of my skin and such, I’m getting down to the basics of reality’, no, there is more smallness within and there is bigness beyond. And, and we in this, the role of consciousness, wake up, wake up to the depth, to the scope, the reach the nature of the aliveness that surrounds us, that gives birth to us, and into which we are growing.
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s some cool movies that you can watch on YouTube, people could check search for ‘Powers of 10’, you see this, there’s several different versions where maybe it starts with somebody lying on a picnic blanket or something, and it starts to zoom out, and it just goes out and out and out by powers of 10, to, you know, the limits of the universe, and then it zooms in again, and then it starts to go into the small by powers of 10, deeper and deeper and deeper. And as you just said, that goes in further to in the small direction, then it went out in the big direction is 10 to the larger number in the small direction. So we’re kind of in the middle.
Duane Elgin: Yes.
Rick Archer: And, and in any case, you know, things like that. I don’t know I have these conversations and debates with friends who don’t get this aliveness business or this, you know, everything is permeated with a swimming in an ocean of intelligence. And I, to me, it seems so obvious, and we go back and forth. It’s kind of fun. But I think it’s a real handy way of looking at things. Because like we said in the beginning, if you think the universe is dead, then it’s natural to exploit it, use it up. And when we die, who cares? Because we have we will cease to exist. And good luck with the coming generations. But you know, if you see it as live, then you know, anything you do to it you’re doing to a living being. And you are intimately connected with that living beings. So you’re doing it to yourself.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. You said well, we’re sort of in the middle ground and indeed we are physics says that we’re a little bit more than halfway up that ruler from the very large to the very small. And in fact, we’re giants in the cosmic scale of things. So this is fascinating. We’re being transformed now by our own science and our own knowledge. So I would like to I’d like to go to another dimension of uplift that’s happening right now there are many things there’s the uplift of consciousness, the uplift of reconciliation movements that are happening around the world. But a third area of uplift is what’s happening for you and me right now and it’s using the tools of communication to connect ourselves with one another in ways that have never been possible before.
Rick Archer: And because we’re going to be talking about the internet and stuff right?
Duane Elgin: the internet Yes,
Rick Archer: Okay, before we launch into that I just want to throw in
Duane Elgin: okay, yes, please
Rick Archer: quote from the Katha Upanishad Brahman, or the totality is described as ‘Anoraniyan Mahato-mahiyan’, which means it’s, it’s smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest. And that doesn’t mean that it’s really, really small, or really, really big. It means that It transcends spatial dimensions altogether. But it’s said to be that which contains the whole universe like a drop in an ocean.
Duane Elgin: Yeah.
Rick Archer: And then the Upanishad keeps coming back to, and ‘That thou art’, that’s what we are. So when we refer to ourselves as being somewhere in the middle size wise, we’re referring to our bodies, but we’re not our bodies we are, we are Brahman, we are the totality, living through a body. And the mosquito is the totality, living through a mosquito body, and so on and so forth. But we can get to a stage in our development, where we identify predominantly as that totality, and secondarily as a limited being. And then we were sort of a walking breathing universe. Anyway…
Duane Elgin: absolutely
Rick Archer: Got that out.
Duane Elgin: Well said, Rick, thank you.
Rick Archer: All right. You wanted to get into the communications thing?
Duane Elgin: Yeah. People say well, okay. You know, the aliveness. And in my experience, about half the people I encounter, say, ‘Well, of course, it’s alive. How could it be otherwise, look at the beauty in the in the architecture of creation, and so on’. And I can be in a circle of five or 10 people and not say anything, and then pretty soon, someone’s going to chime in and say, ‘Well, it’s, you’re crazy. If you think this is alive’, of course, they will show me you know,’ it’s just dead matter and empty space’. And, and the conversation is so juicy, so generative, because people that see and experience and know the lives of say go for the walks in nature, they take time to meditate and so on. It’s in your bones. We’re we are that aliveness, as you say so clearly, Rick, so we’re in the process now, of making that transition from ‘well you’re crazy If you think it’s alive ‘ to ‘ no ‘ you’re crazy if you think it’s not, if you think it’s dead’. So this is a wonderful time, I think generative time to be alive.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And there’s a number of things we’re going to still get into here. But you were starting to suggest, you know, the internet, we wouldn’t be doing this right now, you and I without the Internet. So the internet is sort of a global nervous system of sorts. And, you know, there are other ways in which we’re all connected. But this is one way in which we can be connected visually, and audibly, and so on. And it’s obviously democratizing knowledge and information. It’s also enabling the spread of a great deal of confusion and misinformation. And that perhaps, that perhaps, fits into your three themes that you’ve outlined in that video, you know, that the internet can be used for authoritarianism, it can be used for to sew chaos, or it can be used to infuse, you know, greater wisdom into the world. And I guess it depends on what we choose to put our attention on and to generate or create.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. The tools of communication are neutral, they can be used in each of those three ways you just described so well. And part of my work, over decades now has been to look at both television and the internet, and how that is transforming how we relate to one another and the world. And I’d like to just speak about for a minute here about the internet, because it’s an area that I’m working with right now. And people say, ‘well, how can we come together as a human family? How can we find one another as a human species and come to a new consensus, a new consciousness?’ And I say, ‘well, there we have the technologies, the tools will help us achieve that’. And, and I speak about the internet. But I want to quote something from Dag Hammarskjold, who in the 1950s was a one of the main Secretary- Generals of the United Nations. And he was asked, he said,
Rick Archer: I think he was there when Khrushchev pounded his shoe on the table was,
Duane Elgin: I think, yes, he well could have been
Rick Archer: I remember that.
Duane Elgin: He was asked about the United Nations ‘why I hasn’t done more?’, you know, ‘it just creates confusion and the kinds of issues that we just spoke about here’. And he said, the function of the United Nations as he saw it, was not to take humanity to heaven, but to save humanity from hell of our own making. And here we are. We’re In that situation right now, I’m not saying the internet, it’s going to take us to a new heaven. But it could well save us from going to a hell of our own making. And well, how could you do that. And I pick up a cell phone and I say to people, look, two thirds of the people on this planet have one of these in their hands, two thirds, by the end of this decade, decade, it will be three quarters of the people on the planet have one of these. And I say you hold the future in your hands, because as soon as you open up a browser, as soon as you open up access to, let’s say, a program like this, you’re opening up to the World Wide Web, as it was originally called the ‘World Wide Web’, and the potential connect with people around the planet. Now, Rick, you and I both know that China has its firewalls to keep people out, or keep a lot of people in so does, Russia. But more broadly, the internet connects with people around the earth right now. And so we would simply mobilize those tools of technology, we can begin to achieve a new level of communication, and consciousness. We’re not separate beings, isolated by geography anymore, or isolated necessarily by society, like dictatorships and so on. Those are leaky systems. And we can come together as a species and find a new consciousness and a new consensus about where we’re going to go from here. Can we find reconciliation, and a sense of unity in our collective journey that takes us into this extraordinary possibility that while, we’re living beings, and we’re learning to live in a living universe, what an amazing invitation for evolution that is surrounding us? And we have the tools right now, if we will use these and something I’m exploring. If we use these tools, we can begin to come together as a human community. And we may not reach a heaven, but we can avoid the hell that’s under this developing right now. So this is a very practical way of moving and integrating the evolution of consciousness and the evolution of the very practical dimensions that we know in our everyday lives.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And, you know, that’s what I’m doing. I guess with BatGap. I’m using the internet to do this. And, you know, when I was a snarky teenager, I used to sometimes say, well, ‘freedom of the press belongs to those who own one’. But now everybody more or less owns one or if they
Duane Elgin: you are now we own one. Yes, you’re doing it!
Rick Archer: Yeah. But as you say, it’s a mixed blessing, because anybody can put out anything. I mean, there’s been so much disinformation spreading around and there was a big study recently by Harvard Brown, Microsoft and Brigham and Women’s Hospital that showed that about 319,000 Americans died, who wouldn’t have if all eligible people had gotten the COVID vaccine, but there was a lot of misinformation spreading about which, you know, dissuaded them from doing so. So that has obviously lethal consequences. And, you know, then there’s this whole these issues about well, should Twitter, you know, shut down somebody’s account for saying things that might harm people? Or should Facebook censor posts and at all? And do they have the right to do that? I mean, these are issues that we’re grappling with, I think, as we learn how to use this tool, and you know, have it be not so much a mixed blessing.
Duane Elgin: Well, we hold a future in our hands. So right now is corporate America that’s telling us how to use the tool. And what I’m suggesting is that we can become empowered in ways we hadn’t imagined until recently. If we come together as a species. That’s a new superpower for the future. And then I in my estimation, the next great superpower will not be China or a collecting collection of nations. The next great superpower will be us as ordinary individuals around the Earth, that come together and use the internet, in particular, as a tool of collective communication and consciousness and we begin we begin to speak the future that we want together.
Rick Archer: Yeah,
Duane Elgin: so we’re on the verge of that
Rick Archer: Are these things as you refer? Sorry to people who were saying the things that you and I are trying to say today. Because as a species, we say many things, and we were many minds. And here, just in the United States alone, there’s tremendous polarization and conflict over so many different issues. So maybe it’s sort of ‘May the best man win’ kind of scenario. Like you said, with your arrows, you know, it could go this way, or it could go that way. And so, and the very tool that we’re using to have this conversation could be used to impose greater authoritarianism or, or the tool could become completely inoperable, if the enough chaos takes place. All the various servers could start breaking down due to electrical outages and, and things and then we then will really be out of touch with one another.
Duane Elgin: Yes, that’s right. The internet was designed, as you know, to in the case of nuclear war, there would be workarounds. So even if one area was shattered, and in ruins, there would be ways to get workaround so we still could communicate with one another. And that is really a part of my hope is that there are workarounds to allow us to come together as a human family. And what will prevail will be the consciousness, the compassion, the aliveness, the sense of possibility that we’re working for as a, as a species.
Rick Archer: There’s a Vedic saying, which is kind of encouraging, which is that, ‘that which is closest to truth last longest’. So if that’s true, you know, then what was it Martin Luther King said that the ‘arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice’. Yes. So sometimes in dire predicaments, we’ve, we may feel that all hope is lost, and that, you know, we’re all going to hell in a handbasket. But if quotes like that, are hold merit, then, you know, in the big picture, in the long run, things are going to work out.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. So I feel we’re gonna make we can do this. That’s the key thing that I said, if people would say there’s ‘we’re doomed’. They’re global surveys that have been done. And they found that young people 18 to 25 56%, say, ‘we are doomed as a species’, they’ve given up. And I’m saying, ‘don’t give up, as we’re just getting started moving into our early adulthood as a human family’. So it’s time to step up. And move ahead, use these tools of transformation, work into the heartfelt aliveness that we each carry into the world, bring that into the world as a transforming capacity. So if we mobilize these capacities, both invisible and visible, we have a future an extraordinary future ahead of us’.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Here’s a quote from your book from Martin Luther King, Jr. He said that, ‘to realize justice in human affairs, injustice must be exposed with all of the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of National Opinion before it can be cured.
Duane Elgin: Yes.
Rick Archer: So a lot of times when, you know, various scandals break, or, you know, corruption is exposed and things like that, you know, it’s, it’s a good thing, I think. Go ahead and comment on that. Groaning over here, because I’m talking so much.
Duane Elgin: I’m enjoying the conversation; we have to tell the truth. The first thing we have to do, if we’re going to be in a transformational process, we have to tell the truth about what’s going on. And there’s a lot of distortion and lies about the nature of what is happening. But nonetheless, we have to keep telling the truth, telling the truth. And with that, we can come to a new level of understanding and acceptance. And with the acceptance comes the potential for reconciliation, the rich and the poor, the gender reconciliation, reconciliation, the costs across race and ethnicity, geography and so on, future generations versus current generations. I mean, look at Greta Thunberg. She is saying ‘you’re consuming it all right now you’re not going to leave anything for the younger generation’. So we have to bring these issues into the healing light of public awareness before they can be accepted and then transformed, and then we can move on into our early adulthood as a as a human family.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I remember who was it Chuck Todd was talking to Kellyanne Conway? Then he said something about well, these are facts of the matter. And she said ‘Well, here’s some alternative facts’. And he ‘said wait a minute, alternative facts? What are you talking about?’ So you know, when you say, ‘tell the truth’, obviously people have different views on what that is. But there’s another Vedic Science Vedic quote, which is nice here, which is that ‘Satyameva Jayate’, which means’ truth alone is victorious’. And again, it’s one of those ‘eventually’ kind of things, but hopefully in the ‘Frodo wins the day’.
Duane Elgin: Yes. This has been a delightful conversation. I’ve appreciated your, the wisdom you’re bringing into this from your life experience. So there’s, this is really a pleasure to talk with you.
Rick Archer: Good and we have more to go through to if you have time, right. Sure. Yeah. Okay. So um, when, when terrible things happen, like, let’s say Russia and invades Ukraine. And now and we know how rough that’s been. And now we’re going to see famines because the wheat supply has been shut down. That was 30% of the world’s wheat right there. That’s obviously some of the turbulence that you illustrated in your diagram. Do you see a silver lining somehow? Do you feel like okay, we’re going through this, this, this difficulty, but somehow, in going through this, we’re going to wise up, and things will be better? Maybe, maybe Putin will disappear, and Russia will become a more enlightened place? And we’ll all get along? And that kind of thing? I don’t know.
Duane Elgin: What Well, I think we’re going to go through an absolutely devastating time. In the decades ahead, I really do. Right now we have nearly 8 billion people on the earth. And scientists estimate, the carrying capacity of the Earth is roughly 2 billion people living in middle class European lifestyles, 2 billion people.
Rick Archer: Explained what carrying capacity means
Duane Elgin: The carrying capacity means that the regenerative ability of the land and the oceans to year by year, can grow the food grow and have the fish and so on. It can support roughly 2 billion people.
Rick Archer: When did we last have 2 billion people on the planet?
Duane Elgin: Well, when I when I was born, there was just a little over 2 billion people. So in the space of one lifetime, we have gone from roughly 2 billion, and we’re approaching 8 billion the estimates are by the end of the of the century, we’re going to be approaching 10 billion people.
Rick Archer: And so we don’t draining our bank account, our resource bank account for the
Duane Elgin: Well said we’re draining the bank account; they were over drawing on what the what the generative capacity of the Earth can create. So if you think about that, I just cannot imagine the possibility that something like 6,7,8 billion people might die off in this century. How can that be? Well, famine and disease, we’re seeing pandemics now beginning to grow. And as the world heats up, as the global warming continues, it’s releasing new toxins, new viruses into the atmosphere, and so on. And I think we’re going to have just a plague of pandemics, we’re going to have extraordinary amount of disease and extraordinary amount of famine, every degree centigrade that the earth heats up 15% lower productivity of the land. And if we go up by three degrees centigrade, that’s a 45% degree decrease in the productivity of agriculture on the earth. We can’t feed ourselves hardly right now, what happens if there’s an enormous cutback in productivity at the same time, there’s still a growing increase in the number of people. We’re in for an extraordinary time of correction, if you will, where we as a species matched the resources of the Earth and it’s regenerative capacity. So we and so then what?
Rick Archer: And what happens if sea levels rise a couple of feet and all the world’s coastal cities have to be evacuated? You have hundreds of millions of people trying to go somewhere?
Duane Elgin: That’s right
Rick Archer: in the middle of droughts and famines.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. There’s roughly 3 billion people live around the equatorial regions of the planet. And those equatorial regions are going to become increasingly uninhabitable, uninhabitable. In Pakistan there are temperatures rare regular reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit 120 degrees. Now that’s at the very margins of what people can tolerate
Rick Archer: no doubt New Delhi has been like that in recent months.
Duane Elgin: Yes. So we’re already approaching portions of the earth becoming uninhabitable. And then people are going to start migrating to the more resource favored and climate favored portions of the earth. Now, it only took a million people to destabilize Europe, the movement of million people into Europe, it has been profoundly destabilizing of the civic structures and so on. What happens when there’s not 1 million but 3 billion people moving north and south to more resource and climate favored regions? That’s what you’re talking about. And that’s what we’re going to be we’re going to start experiencing that very, very soon. It’s already underway as a trickle, it’s going to turn into a rush. But then you as well, while people say, Well, look, we’re doomed? Well, no, we need to look at how we learn. And trauma is our teacher, the sorrow, the grief, the loss of these years, that’s our teacher, we’re doing this to ourselves. No one came and impose this upon us. But rather, we have created these conditions ourselves. And we have the capacity I feel to unravel these circumstances and move into a more habitable relationship with the earth, and with the wellbeing of all life.
Rick Archer: Let’s think of some traumas and what we’ve learned from them. And we have, let’s say, the Civil War, World War One, the Great Depression, World War Two. Did we learn? I mean, maybe we did. I mean, obviously, the racial situation is much better today than it was prior to the Civil War. We, then then we had World War Two, now we get along with Germany and Japan. But then we have a whole lot of nuclear weapons we didn’t have before. And fortunately, those seven, so I’m just wondering, to what, how many steps forward? Are we taking for every few steps backward?
Duane Elgin: You, that that’s right. Well, various things. Think about this gender equality, we have awakened to the role of women on the earth. And person, a researcher after research is saying, if we want to habitable Earth, we need to empower women, they need to be given the opportunity of education and participation, and affairs of the world of life. And that is beginning to happen, a transformation that’s been really 1000s of years in the making is now happening in this generation. So there’s an immense transformation and learning that has been underway. The same is ‘Black Lives Matter’, for example, we’re beginning to take seriously that that the white population, the men like ourselves, white men are going to be in a minority soon. And we need to learn to accept and work with a reality, a racial diversity, ethnic diversity, gender, diversity, and so on. And we’re beginning to do that. So it isn’t a done deal. And as, as Hammarskjold said, about the United Nations, he was not expecting to create a heaven on earth, but to avoid creating a hell on earth. And if we can do that, if we can work our way through this time of extraordinary challenge and difficulty and see it as a maturing experience for the whole human family, I think we have a promising future ahead of us.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I guess we’re sort of doing it. I mean, it’s always by fits and starts, and they’re always people digging their heels in and resisting every little bit of change.
Duane Elgin: Sure,
Rick Archer: But, you know, somehow rather, we do seem to be progressing. I’m not really familiar with the work of Steven Pinker, but I’ve often heard him quoted as itemizing all these really good things that we’ve got going for us now that we didn’t in the past, you know, so, I mean, it can seem pretty depressing and dire when you watch the news and stuff, but many things are better.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. It’s an open system. It’s there’s potential here there’s possibility. And a lot of people like I just mentioned the 56% of youth on the planet, saying we’re doomed. Well, here, let’s open this up, and move beyond materialism, materialism, and because Tourism of Western society and see the world freshly with new eyes. And recognize that if we’re learning to live in a living universe, that’s an entirely new and different journey that we have been on in the past. So we, if we’re going to be successful, we need to reframe, I think how we understand what we’re doing here and where we are, what who we are as bio cosmic beings, and where we’re going, we’re learning to live in a living universe.
Rick Archer: One thing I liked about your book is that as you went through the coming decades and sketched out what might possibly happen on in these decades, you know, on the one hand, there was this, you know, collapse and breakdown taking place, and all the dire details of that. But at the same time you weave into those chapters, good things that would be happening as people kind of woke up more and more and hopefully counterbalanced as the yellow arrows from your diagram. And you have a whole section in your book about seven uplifting forces. And at some point in our conversation, perhaps we should go through those to, you know, break the bummer mood that we might be creating here.
Duane Elgin: Well, this is it, I mean, this, let’s get serious here. How challenging and how critical our situation is, it’s not a time for complacency, it’s a time to step up and be in the in the in the transformational process itself, and as hard to do without seeing the uplift potential that surrounds us. And those uplift factors. By the way, let me just mention, the book ‘Choosing Earth’ is available online, for free. And our situation is so dire I’ve said, look, I’ll just make this available for free, as a PDF, something that everyone can print out for themselves, if they
Rick Archer: make sure to link to that on your BatGap page.
Duane Elgin: Yeah, good. I’ll do that. So the you mentioned the what are these uplifting factors? for heaven sakes? Well, we’ve already spoken about a number of them. First of all, aliveness, recognizing that what we’re seeking is the direct experience of being alive. And that is something that’s free. It’s already present, it’s already there and available to us.
Rick Archer: And before you skim through them, I want to comment on
Duane Elgin: Okay
Rick Archer: some of them. For instance, aliveness, one thing I always experienced with my meditation practice was from the time I learned it, was that I felt like after each I felt like as I was doing it, I was being infused with more aliveness,
Duane Elgin: yes,
Rick Archer: and, and I could just feel my brain waking up in my body kind of being refreshed and regenerated. And then when I would come back into activity, I felt like I had greater resources with which to infuse more of that aliveness into my life or into my environment. It’s kind of like, I don’t know, to use a simple analogy, if you wanted to go shopping, and you didn’t have any money in your pockets, you wouldn’t be very productive. But if you go to the bank first and withdraw some resources, then you can shop. So I felt like I was dipping into my inner resources, and then being more successful in the marketplace of life.
Duane Elgin: Yes. Golly, That’s it. Thank you. I like that. Okay, so there’s one. I mean, it’s, it’s all around us, it’s within us. And it’s available to us. And we need to recognize that and as you say, just bring it in, bring it down, bring it through. So
Rick Archer: we all do have and I’m just talking about myself here, we all do have an unlimited reservoir of potential deep within and we all have the capacity to tap into it. We just have to find out how.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. That’s right, we have to find out how and we have to recognize this there, and then begin our exploration and discovery. And that’s a that’s an inside job or we’re call to do for ourselves and for the world.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, if you think about a forest, for instance, like let’s say the Amazon rainforest, it’s green and verdant by virtue of the fact that all the plants are rooted in this very fertile soil, and they get plenty of rain and stuff, so it’s not and if it were looking not so green wouldn’t help to spray paint it green or we’d have to improve its ability to draw nourishment, each individual plant’s ability to draw nourishment from its through its roots. And so like that, you know, all as many of us as possible on this earth as many humans as possible, need to learn how to draw forth that inner nourishment, and then the whole forest if humanity will look more green,
Duane Elgin: That’s right.
Rick Archer: (To) Use the analogy.
Duane Elgin: That’s right.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Duane Elgin: So, other upload factors, mentioning just a few. The next one up on my list is consciousness. And we’ve been speaking about consciousness throughout. And there’s thinking consciousness where we think that who we are is what we think. And we’ve been living in thinking consciousness for a long while. And you and I are now talking about a reflective consciousness, where we’re we have the ability to look back and see ourselves. And one of the keys under understandings I like to share with people is who our named as a species. We think we’re Homo sapiens, actually, the technical name of who we are, is ‘Homo Sapiens Sapiens’. Now, to be sapient means to be wise or knowing. And to be Homo Sapiens Sapiens means to be doubly wise, you’re doubly knowing, not only to know that we’re here, but know that we know. And American Indians, they have three miracles, that they often speak about or they do speak about, the first miracle is that there’s anything here at all. And we we’ve talked about this, the living universe, the first miracle, if the is that the universe is here at all. The second miracle is that there are living things here, plants and animals, and we can see the life around us, you were just speaking about that. The third miracle is the recognition that we know we are here, not only we see we’re here, but we know that we know that we’re here. And knowing that we know is anchoring, it brings that capacity for recognition and therefore action within us. So that’s an extraordinary capacity. And it moves beyond just a reflective consciousness into a more compassionate engagement with life, where our life, we feel it in the context of meeting others. And that’s a compassionate consciousness. So consciousness evolves as we evolve in our understanding of that. And I’m sure I’m sure Rick, as a teacher of consciousness, you have things you want to add right here?
Rick Archer: Well, as you’re saying that I was thinking what Jesus said on the cross,’ forgive them father, they know not what they do’. So the guys who are nailing him on the cross, he could see that they weren’t really conscious, the implications of what they were doing. And you could perhaps extend that out to Vladimir Putin or Bolsonaro burning down the rainforest are people doing these horrible, destructive short-sighted things, they are just shut down in their consciousness, they are operating out of such a limited perspective. They don’t know what they’re doing. And remember, Europe, offered Bolsonaro a whole lot of money to stop burning down the rainforest. And, and he said, ‘nah plant more trees in your own continent, you know, we’re just kind of mind our own business here’. So there’s a stupidity and a numbness, ignorance that prevails so often.
Duane Elgin: So that consciousness is critical. It’s critical to move beyond the thinking consciousness into the reflective consciousness, that says, let me look at this freshly recognizing I’m a part of a larger system of aliveness. And that’s transformative. And you’re speaking about that, so directly. So mentioning other
Rick Archer: choosing communication,
Duane Elgin: uplifting factor. So we saw the power of aliveness, the power of consciousness. The third one is the is the power of communication and it’s phenomenal. I feel that if we look at human evolution, it was our ability to communicate the Goddess from a weakening of hunter gatherers roughly 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, to the verge of a planetary civilization today. We communicate, communicate, communicate, and at each stage, we have grown we’ve expanded our sphere of connection with the rest of life with one another. And here we are, at the edge of a planetary civilization. We’re not really there yet. But we have the tools of communication that the internet and such that can take us over and into our understanding that we are here together and we can communicate together and we can choose together our pathway into the future. And that’s why it is ‘Choosing Earth’, we can do this, we can ‘Choose’ the earth as our home. And so there’s the third great uplifting factor.
Rick Archer: And on that one, obviously, it’s more than just the technological means to communicate, we’ve got that pretty good shape now. But it’s having the somehow the wisdom to be able to understand and connect with each other. And, you know, have you ever noticed that my wife and I often talk about this, you’re talking to somebody, maybe even a friend, and they’re going on and on and on and on and about themselves? And, and then finally, you know, you try to say something about what’s going on your life and say, ‘well, it’s getting late. Gotta go’. It’s like that old saying, you know, ‘me, me, me. Okay, enough about me? What do you think about me?’ So, I don’t know, somehow we have to some somehow be more interested in each other and more kind of interested in understanding what makes the other person tick. You know, what’s their perspective? Okay. Let’s say I have certain feelings about gun control. Okay, why don’t people who feel so differently than I feel the way they do? And is there some kind of bridge that we could meet at to actually communicate about the issue? And there are some kind of interesting organizations and movements attempting to do just that. You know, there’s this black guy who is actually made a career of collecting Ku Klux Klan robes by befriending the people and then kind of communicating with them human to human and getting convincing them to leave the Ku Klux Klan. That’s just one example. But we need more of that.
Duane Elgin: Yes. Well, curiosity and consciousness go together. In my estimation, if you’re really awake to the world, it becomes a magical place. It’s an interesting place. It isn’t all figured out. No is just alive. It’s happening. It’s real. And then curiosity. Well, who are you that you are here doing what you and how is that happening? Let’s look at the architecture of this living system, the universe that we inhabit. So curiosity is a key part of that. And so thanks for bringing that
Rick Archer: Yeah. And perhaps that rests upon the first two points, awareness or aliveness and unconsciousness, you know, if you’re more alive, more conscious, then you have that greater curiosity.
Duane Elgin: That’s right,
Rick Archer: and more passionate about being communicative and so on.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. All right. So the next one, on the list here is maturity, we’ve been talking about maturity, we have to grow up as a species, move beyond our adolescent behaviors, and, and mindset and into. Well, with maturity, one thing I love to acknowledge with maturity is freedom. There’s there certainly responsibilities when you become an adult, if you will, work responsibilities, family responsibilities, and so on. But there is freedom as an adult, that is not present when we’re adolescents. And adolescents are pushing on the edges. Give me the freedom giving me the freedom, but I there has to be balanced with responsibilities as well. And but we are moving into a world of new freedoms that we have yet to really begin to explore. So that’s a part of maturation that I really appreciate.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and freedom requires maturity, because if you if you’re not mature, and you have too much freedom, then you end up creating all kinds of harm. I mean, we’re looking yeah
Rick Archer: like 18-year-olds who are free to buy AR 15, AR 14s, or whatever they call those guns
Duane Elgin: AR 15s
Rick Archer: 15s, Yeah. And then you try to change something about that, and ‘you’re challenging our freedoms’.
Duane Elgin: That’s right
Rick Archer: How about, you could get me going on that topic. But I mean, there’s also a little thing in the Bill of Rights about the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, how about those freedoms? It’s a little bit hard to exercise those if you’re, if you’ve been shot.
Duane Elgin: Yeah. Yeah. All right. The next one Rick, we’ll work into this the next uplifting factor is beyond maturity, is reconciliation, to have the maturity to see the integrity of life and the right to life. That way It surrounds us that not only other people have the right to their life that transcends ethnicity and race, gender, income and so on. We all have this aliveness within us and reconciling ourselves to living in a in a world filled with different expressions of aliveness. Not only human aliveness, but the aliveness of plants and animals. And, and, and the whole cosmic system. That’s an extraordinary challenge. But it’s an extraordinary opportunity to for uplift, to take us into a new future possibility.
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s another nice Vedic saying, and that one, it’s Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, I think it’s pronounced which is ‘the world is my family’. And, you know, very, I think very few people view the world as their family. But we’re all you know, to quote Buckminster Fuller, we’re all passengers on spaceship Earth. And we’ve got to reconcile in order not to, you know,
Duane Elgin: yes,
Rick Archer: destroy the space, the only spaceship we have. That’s right. I saw him speak, incidentally, back in 1971, it was a great opportunity. And let’s, let’s hit a little bit more on reconciliation.
Duane Elgin: Okay.
Rick Archer: With climate change, in particular, aside from all the other problems that we can consider, there is no agreement that it even exists in the US Congress. About half the half the politicians there won’t admit that it does or that it’s a serious problem. So it I mean, if you were, let’s say, what would you call it a counselor, the consultant to, to Washington, which I guess you have that in certain eons of your life? How would you attempt to achieve some kind of realistic reconciliation, so we could get everybody on board with that particular issue? For instance?
Duane Elgin: Well, well, um, I worked on a presidential commission in the early 1970s. It was on population growth on the American future. And it was looking not only at the growth, but also then the urbanization of American society over the next 30 years. And while on that commission, I wrote a paper as a staff member for the commission members, and it was titled ‘The poverty of our abundance’. And it was the idea was, what are we doing with a wealth that we have over the next three decades? Can we re-envision how to use her abundance in more creative and compassionate ways? And I thought this was a great idea. But the senior leaders of the commission felt otherwise and they wanted to fire me. And but they couldn’t, given government laws, and they just pushed me aside, basically, kept me out of the deliberative process. No, I learned some things there. You don’t push on a system like that. What we can do, though, is recontextualize it. And that’s where the power of communication comes in. And is happening right now. Where people say, well, you a third may say, well, is hoax, to think that is a big hoax to think that there’s anything like climate change. And the other two thirds says you’re wrong. This is an extremely important and identifiable and research possibility. And so the context, the political context changes. So my approach is to say,’ work at the periphery, create a new context of understanding’, that is something that we can do. Whereas if we go right into the, into the heart of the beast into the political process itself, that’s really pushing against something that’s going to push back politically, and it’s going to be hard to get traction. So that takes us then back to communication. Can we communicate our way into a transforming future, creating a new context of understanding and consensus that will then permeate the political apparatus and give us a new pathway ahead.
Rick Archer: Upton, Upton Sinclair said you can’t get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his ‘not’ understanding it. I think that applies to politicians whose cash flow which they have to spend a good portion of their time trying to raise depends upon agreeing with the fossil fuel industry, or earlier on it was the tobacco industry and so on.
Duane Elgin: Yes. No, No, that’s, I experienced that directly. Very, very directly.
Rick Archer: But I think in their heart of hearts, they do understand it. I’m a little cynical in that regard. And they’re just corrupt enough to talk the talk that they need to talk, even though they realize they’re lying.
Duane Elgin: You know, the I had the opportunity to do a study for the President’s Science Advisor, this is an in the mid-1970s. And they asked us, we want a fresh view of the future, don’t tell us what we already know, we know we have population problems, even energy problems, and so on, tell us what we don’t know. ‘What is going to happen in the future that could wipe us out from the blind side?’ And a number of things were offered up to the President’s Science Advisor, and this yearlong study. And among them was climate change, and, and bless their hearts. They said, ‘well, we just we see this as happening, of course, but it’s going to be 40 or so years, maybe even 50 years before, it’s going to have a major impact. So there’s so far into the future, we don’t have to worry about it now’. Okay, now, 40 years after the mid-1970s is now here we are, isn’t it’s finally happened. And I’ve been watching decade by decade, just want to see these things happening, and that, that are beginning to wipe us out from the blind side because we weren’t paying attention. And the political apparatus is so focused on this short-term political agenda is not stepping back to look at the world as a whole system, and to pay attention at that scale. So we’re seeing the consequences of a lack of consciousness as a lack of courage to take what we already see and stick with it. Not only like the American Indians, seven generations into the future, pay attention seven generations ahead. Well, this is pay attention one generation ahead. And we weren’t doing it, and now we’re experiencing the consequences of that lack of conscious attention. So this is what I’m hopefully hopeful that we’re learning here, Rick. I’m hopeful
Rick Archer: Patanjali has a phrase in the Yoga Sutras, which is avert the danger which has not yet come. And, you know, 40 years ago, it’s like changing the course of a river. You know, if you wait till the river gets to the, to the mouth, you know, to the ocean, it’s too late to do anything about the course of it. But if you can go back to the very source of the river, you know, perhaps some little thing could change it off in a different direction, because this is just an analogy, and it probably wouldn’t work that way. But no, no,
Duane Elgin: no, that is how it works.
Rick Archer: Yeah,
Duane Elgin: that is how it works. So we need to make these what seemingly small course corrections right now, like the food that we eat, shift towards a more vegetarian diet, the clothes that we wear, I’ve been wearing the same shirt a decade, or more. Now,
Rick Archer: I hope you’ve been washing it.
Duane Elgin: is time is time for water.
Rick Archer: I don’t want to wastewater. But
Duane Elgin: that’s right. Got to be careful here, not too often. The transportation we use, I gave up my car, and so on. It’s all up for grabs. And if we the car, the food, the clothing as our, if we make these small changes, they add up. And if we’re all doing that together, what’s’ small little rivers’ become a huge ocean of transformation. And so that’s what I’m hopeful for.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But now unfortunately, the changes have to be much more radical, because we’ve waited too long. I just watched this whole FRONTLINE documentary about the three-part thing and it was all about how Exxon had this research group in the 1970s. And they the research group said, ‘Well, climate change is coming. It could be catastrophic. We’ve got to do something’. So they started thinking about alternative energies. And then then some executives came in and just shut that down and got rid of that research group and again, spending millions of dollars to create obfuscation and doubt about
Duane Elgin: That’s right,
Rick Archer: climate change instead of actually doing something. That’s right. And now we’re in the pickle that we’re in.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. And not just Exxon, but Shell and other major
Rick Archer: all of them
Duane Elgin: Yeah, they all were obfuscating and distorting and now we’re paying the price of The need for radical change in this decade.
Rick Archer: Some people say they should be held accountable the way that tobacco companies have billions of dollars, although, you know, the tobacco companies couldn’t bring back all the people who died. And I don’t think that the oil companies could eliminate all the damage that’s happened.
Duane Elgin: Because right, that’s right. Yeah. That’s right. No, no, Rick, this is where this is the uplift section we’re working.
Rick Archer: Oh, yes. uplift okay. Need to take a happy pill.
Duane Elgin: The next one, if you’re ready for it is community, community, community. We’re living in such fragmented, separate isolated ways. So many people have their apartment or house. And as they’re living alone, they’re not connected with her neighbors and so on. I’m living right now my wife and I are living in a in a cohousing community here in California. And that’s a community of 60 people, roughly 30 units, 60 people. And we had we have common meals, typically two or three days a week, we eat together, we work on the landscaping together, we have a garden that grows a lot of the food that we use, we have a woodworking shop, we have a common house where we can gather together we have a place for kids to play, and so on. And so it’s an integrated eco village kind of setting. And what we’re learning are insights that could be transported to the world at large, the whole world could be an eco-village, the whole thing could be an eco-village, and are where we have all of these small gatherings of people and properties. And they have a high degree of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. So there’s resilience at the local level, but then it grows out and builds out to the more regional and then global scale. So community, new kinds of community are critical I feel to our future.
Rick Archer: And if you went to the Bioneers Conference, for instance, you’d see that there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of organizations and initiatives and things that are going on that don’t make the news. And it’s kind of inspiring to see all that. So there are things happening all over the world.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. There, invisible revolutions underway, as you suggest all around the world. And we have yet to upload those into our collective consciousness. So we can choose effectively new pathways ahead.
Rick Archer: Yeah. You know, earlier, we were talking about phase transitions, and how they are opportunities for change, because everything is in flux. And one thing about phase transitions is that often you don’t see them coming. Like even the simple example is the boiling of water, it can be 99 degrees Celsius and doesn’t look like anything much is happening. And one more degree and it’s boiling. Yes. So we never know how close we might be as a society as a society to certain abrupt changes.
Duane Elgin: Great example. I think we’re getting close, Rick, I’ve been watching this develop, as I said for about a half century and, boy, it at a feeling level, there’s a thinking level, I’ve done tremendous amounts of research. But as I speak with people around the community here, and really through the internet now, around the planet. I’ve just seen the agitation, and a concern, the stress, the awareness, that’s awakening, I think we’re approaching that place of collect the collective boiling point into a new configuration or the possibility of a new configuration for humanity.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think so too. I mean, look what’s just been happening in the last I mean, COVID was a big upset and talk about choosing simplicity. It was it was imposed on a lot of people. And they all went nuts, you know, wanting to have their movies and their travel and their restaurants and all this stuff that people are used to. But now we’re, I mean, supply chains are breaking down and know if they can be gotten back together properly. Jamie Dimon and Elon Musk both said within last few days that we’re on the brink of some kind of economic hurricane,
Duane Elgin: hurricane. Yes.
Rick Archer: So there seems to be something coming.
Duane Elgin: I think what I’ve suggested in the scenarios that I presented earlier, is that we’re in a time of unraveling now, things are breaking down, they’re coming apart. And if things unravel enough, they come apart enough, well, then there’s not enough to hold the whole thing together. And if it can’t hold, it falls. And if we are in tremendous overshoot far beyond what’s the carrying capacity of the Earth, it won’t be just a small decline, it will be a great fall I feel that’s what’s coming for us. Probably hmm by the decade of the 2030s, maybe sooner. But we’re going to go from a time of unraveling to a time of severe breakdown, a great fall, and then the deep collapse of civilization on the earth. And it’s that’s predictable I feel. And we can anticipate that and work with that and move through that. And that brings us really, in some ways to this last uplifting factor, which is simplicity, simplicity of living. And we already spoke about aliveness. And if we feel alive, making music, sharing food with one another, being in relationship with it with a loving and caring community, and so on. Being in nature, all these things are free, essentially free, or simple. Now, is that regress or progress? Well, I go to Arnold Toynbee, this extraordinary historian, wrote volume after volume on the history of the world. And he finally summarized these volumes of research and understanding in one principle. And he called it the ‘law of progressive simplification’, the law of progressive simplification. And he said, the measure of maturity and advance in a civilization is expressed in its ability to simplify the material aspects of life and give more energy and attention to the non-material aspects of life, the ones that were just speaking about. So if we can advance reconciliation, and the humanities and so on, so if we can shift from a focus on materialism and consumerism, and into with simplicity, choiceful simplicity, advancing our appreciation of these other dimensions of life than non-material, that is a measure of a civilizations growth.
Rick Archer: Yeah, if we can, that I guess it’s the big if, because by Toynbee’s definition, we’re not living in we’re not a very mature society, because we are extremely complex. And we have, you know, hugely complex systems of supply, you know, just- in- time supply chains and all that stuff, I mean, baby formula has been big in the news recently, because a factory had to be shut down. And Michigan because it wasn’t up to code or something. And all of a sudden, there’s this big shortage of baby formula. And they’re trying to fly it in from Zurich. And you know, so there’s so many things like that. I mean, if there were a huge solar flare, it could burn out all the Transformers in the electrical grid. And we don’t have backup transformers because no one has thought that we ought to have them on hand. And we wouldn’t have the means to create transformers if we had no electricity. So there are a lot of things like that that are very, you know, that we’re very dependent upon that so far, we’ve been lucky. But you know, there are a number of things that could just go wrong, and then the dominoes would topple.
Duane Elgin: Rick, we’re talking uplift here.
Rick Archer: Oh, yeah. You kept reminding me?
Duane Elgin: Oh, yes. Yeah.
Rick Archer: The question is, is it gonna be forced simplicity, or voluntary simplicity and a
Duane Elgin: voluntary,
Rick Archer: if it’s forced simplicity, because things have broken down, then there’s going to be all this mayhem, that you’ve talked about in the billions of people struggling, dying, and so on. But if we can sort of move shift to it more voluntarily, then we can avert a lot of that.
Duane Elgin: That’s right, yeah, that’s right. I think you’re absolutely correct. I want to affirm what you were saying that we run out of time. There’s no time left, the time to adapt is now and it’s we should have been way into this process earlier. So we’re not going to have the luxury of voluntary simplicity. There’s going to be a lot of enforced simplicity, as you’re suggesting. And it’s going to be a rough initiation. It’s going to be a rough ride for the human family. But that’s the nature of initiation and the pain, the loss, the sorrow, the grief. Those are traumas that will teach us. And we’re going to learn the hard way. How to live in this, this new world of limitation. And simplicity is going to be a key factor in that learning.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I mean, there are people like yourself who are doing it voluntarily. But again, if we look to Washington, they’re still tinkering and denying, and so on. So, I mean, I guess it’s just gonna get to the point where things will be forced because they haven’t been chosen.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. That’s right. So this is a, as I said, this is going to be a rough road is going to be a rough ride, it’s going to be a challenging initiation we’re going through already, we’re beginning the process right now as a species, but it’s just getting started.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I guess at this point, people might be thinking, well, what can I do? What can I do? And I would say, first of all, go back to that, quote, you know, that Maharishi said, on the boat ride in 1974, hold on to the self. If, by whatever means you understand that, to you know, somehow know thyself, reach that reach some stage of spiritual awakening, stabilize it, integrate it, and then you’ll be better equipped to get through whatever we have. We have to get through.
Duane Elgin: Yes. Yes, become a full Homo Sapien Sapien know that, you know, find that place of knowing within and know that knowing connects with the aliveness of the Living Universe grow on that, yes.
Rick Archer: And then what else would you prescribe? You’ve just prescribed seven different things, communications and maturity and reconciliation and all that. But, you know, what, what practical, let’s say, two or three immediate practical steps that people listening to this could take that would move them in the direction of greater preparedness for what what’s coming down the pike?
Duane Elgin: You know? Well, I’ve mentioned these already. They’re very, very practical. It’s the food that we eat. And the shift towards a more vegetarian diet is just widespread now in the country, in and around the world. So it’s a food that we eat.
Rick Archer: I have a new friend and Israel and she said that about the Tel Aviv is one of the most vegan cities on the planet. It’s like, kind of almost the norm over there for some reason.
Duane Elgin: Yes, that’s right. So the good point is a new normal.
Rick Archer: Yeah,
Duane Elgin: there’s a new normal emerging in the food that we eat is one of the new normals. And our food supply is going to be extraordinarily challenged in the decades ahead. So that’s a longer discussion, but the food that we eat, the clothes that we wear, how do we represent ourselves and in the world, in a consumer society, if you’re not wearing the right clothes, and the right attire, the right shoes, the right pants on so on. You’re looked down on. And while we need to reframe how we represent ourselves, and what is appropriate. And look at the two of us, we each have a beard, and we’re a little bit I just got a haircut, so I could be on this program with you. But yesterday, I didn’t look anywhere as trim as I do today. So how we, you know, the clothes that we wear and how we more generally represent ourselves? The transportation we use, do we really need that second car? Let’s say our could we use a train a bus, other modes of transportation? Really? Could we do that? Well, with the internet, maybe we don’t need to be commuting as much as we did in the past. So I think a lot of people with a pandemic are turning obviously to the internet, and they’re transforming. They’re saying, I’m not gonna go back to the office. I don’t want to do all of that. I’m just as functional and effective here at home using the internet, and occasionally meeting with my coworkers.
Rick Archer: Elon Musk just announced that if you’re not going to be in the office 40 hours a week, you can leave Tesla. And he’s the one who wants to like colonize Mars as a Plan B because the Earth might not make it.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. That’s right. The work well, okay, the work that you do. Okay, well leave Tesla. I’ll say, Elon, thank you very much. It’s time for me to find new work. And I’ll go working. Go to work with an electric bike company. And you can have your high-end cars, and I’m gonna help create electric bikes for the masses. Let’s say,
Rick Archer: There’s a lot of people doing that actually, there’s been a big, you know, layoff thing where people are just quitting. Because I guess there it kind of happened recently after the pandemic, not the pandemic is totally over. But people just thought, ‘what am I doing with my life, I’m not gonna go and spend 40 50 hours a week doing this meaningless thing, I’ve got to find something better’. So how to better I don’t know what they have as a backup plan, but a lot of people have just been quitting.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. So the work that we do, and I say to people, look, we, each of us has what I would call true gifts, we have near gifts, things we’re pretty good at. And oftentimes we’re earning a living with things we’re pretty good at. And we also have true gifts. And your true gift might be gardening, it might be the care of animals, that might be woodworking, I’m not sure what your true gifts are. But find your true gifts. And if your heart is in it, and you’re, you can bring your whole being into it. You’re not living divided anymore, you’re living whole. At that point, you’re a powerful force in the world. Find your true gifts, invest your life energy in those gifts, connect with your aliveness, be conscious about it. And you’re bringing a new being into the evolutionary process. So that’s another thing I would suggest.
Rick Archer: Was it Joseph Campbell, with whom you worked, who said, ‘Follow your bliss’, or was that somebody else?
Duane Elgin: That was Campbell,
Rick Archer: Okay, and how do you interpret that phrase?
Duane Elgin: Well follow your life, what brings you alive?
Rick Archer: Right?
Duane Elgin: That’s how I interpret if it brings you alive before that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Which doesn’t mean, I want to be a rock star or something like that, which, or I want to I Rick Archer would like to be a professional basketball player, because you have to obviously, go for something that suits your capabilities. But um, I think everybody does have a Dharma. I’ve actually interviewed people Stephen Cope, I did a whole interview with him about Dharma and finding, finding what you’re meant to do and what your, what you’re best able to do and what you’re going to evolve most quickly doing. And so I think that’s something everybody really has to find
Duane Elgin: Yes. Good.
Rick Archer: And there’s probably a lot of people in this world who are doing something that is, in a simpler world, they could be doing something much more meaningful,
Duane Elgin: yes,
Rick Archer: than sitting in a factory assembling widgets. All day long.
Duane Elgin: That’s right. And they, they could have potentially, not only one job, two or three jobs, and those jobs could be mutually supportive and reinforcing of one another that’s happening in a cohousing community. Someone might be working in the garden part of the time, doing bodywork massage, and whatever, another part of the time cooking another part. And so a constellation of contributions could then become your livelihood, your contribution to the larger community.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s a whole ‘nother level of discussion that we’re kind of in it right now. But I’ve often thought that in an ideal world, in a more enlightened world, there would be so many industries that now are behemoths that dominate our culture that absolutely have no place. I mean, you can think of some obvious ones, there wouldn’t be any need for the tobacco industry, the liquor industry, the gun industry, you know, but all kinds of crazy financial things. I mean, the credit default swaps and all that, that caused the crash in the Bush, Bush administration, everything has just gotten so complicated, and probably wouldn’t exist in a more enlightened world. And somehow, I’ve often felt when I say that sort of thing that all that stuff has got to come crumbling down, it’s got to be dismantled somehow, then I don’t I just don’t know exactly how that’s going to happen, or how traumatic it’s gonna be for all involved when it does. But if we’re actually headed for some kind of Age of Enlightenment, you know, your third scenario, then that will necessitate or include the complete destruction, not destruction, complete dismantling, and yes, you shouldn’t have such structures.
Duane Elgin: Well, you mentioned just a few minutes ago, that we’re going into an economic hurricane.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Duane Elgin: And so the to be ready. They’re saying, this is coming not in the far future, but in the near future. So the unraveling and the breakdown and moving into the collapse of these big structures, big systems, and as a breakstone, we’re going to have to reconfigure our lives more in a more resilient manner at a local level, recreate community live, simply be more conscious, connect with our aliveness. And all the rest things that we’ve been speaking about here.
Rick Archer: Yeah, so that might be might have been a good concluding statement you just made. And I hope everybody can see how this discussion is relevant to the overall theme of BatGap. You know, I’ve always felt strongly that spiritual awakening has to take into consideration the kinds of things Duane and I have been talking about today. And that it will, if there, if there’s going to be some kind of spiritual awakening of a whole society, it will include a complete restructuring of the way society works. Just as often happens in an individual’s life, when they spiritually awaken, they find, you know, everything changes in terms of what they do, what they’re interested in, and all that kind of stuff.
Duane Elgin: That’s right.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Duane Elgin: Golly, this has been a lot of fun for me, Rick, to talk with you and have this conversation. So I thank you for, for that. And for the sharing your wisdom, as you have. So I appreciated that a lot.
Rick Archer: Oh, likewise, I mean, this whole thing is one of my favorite topics, and you’re the best guy to talk to about him. You know, in fact, it’s funny, I tell the people, you know, a couple years, a year or more ago, you sent me an earlier version of this book. I said, oh, boy, this is great. I read the first chapter. So I said, this is great. I got to interview Duane. And then I’ll read the rest. And you kept saying, wait, wait, well, I’m putting together some things. I’m doing some videos. I’m updating the book, and then we’ll do it. So yeah, we finally got around to doing it.
Duane Elgin: Got there. Yeah. Thanks for your patience.
Rick Archer: Oh, you’re right. You’re welcome. Thank you for everything you’re doing and have been doing. Yeah. And thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. Next week, I’ll be interviewing a gentleman named Suresh Ramaswamy Ramaswamy. Right. We’ll get it. And he has written a book called ‘Just Be’ and seems like a very bright fella. I’m looking forward to delving into his work and then having a conversation with ‘Ramaswamy’. That’s where you pronounce it. I got it, right. I just pronounced it wrong. I got it, right. But it was wrong. So anyway, that’s what we’ve got scheduled. And those, you know, watching this, if you want to see who we have scheduled in the coming weeks and months, there’s an upcoming interviews page on BatGap. You can, check that out, and there’s a little thing on the page with each person where you can set a reminder so that your Gmail or your Outlook or whatever will pop up a reminder, so that you can watch the live one if you want to. And it’s nice to have people watching the live one and sending in questions. So I guess we’re done. Duane, we’ll be in touch. I’ll keep sending me over cartoons.
Duane Elgin: Yeah, to yes, I’d love to do that with you. Yeah. All right. All right. Your brother was wonderful to spend this time with you.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Me to stay in touch to talk to you later. Okay.